The ins and outs of costing candle batches

So much to think about

When you first start out with candle making, you are probably going to just want to get on and make candles right? Why bother with all the intricacies of costings when you don't even know how your candle is going to come out?

WHY are you making them? Do you want to make candles as a means of extra income or is this simply a hobby to keep you busy and give the odd candle to a friend or family as a gift?

What type of candle are you going to make? Simple and plain or intricate and layered with lots of different components? There are so many options when it comes to this beautiful craft and let's face it, if you're just starting out, you will probably start simple and as you get better, you will want to explore all the options.

In my opinion and my experience, there is no better time at putting correct systems in place right at the beginning of your journey, rather than suddenly finding yourself in business and floundering to find the right solutions to help you grow, save money and save your precious time...

Let's take a quick look at how you cost out a very simple batch of 10 x 8oz candles which we will color with a dark blue dye and fragrance with an ocean scent. Here's what you will need in terms of ingredients:

  1. Wax 5 lbs (8oz x 10 candles = 80 oz)
  2. Blue candle dye
  3. Ocean Fragrance
  4. 10 wick - pre-waxed & tabbed
  5. 10 8oz container
  6. 10 container label
  7. 10 warning labels

How do we work out how much fragrance to use?

As a general rule and honestly, the simplest way to calculate fragrance required is by using a percentage of the wax weight. Most candle makers work between 8-12%, some go to 15%, there are a number of factors involved and this is something that you will work out in your journey. So let's work with 10% to make like simple:

80oz x 10% = 8oz fragrance

How do we work out how much dye to use?

We also work out how much dye to use by calculating it as a percentage of the wax quantity. I am dealing with dye flakes and the recommendations from the supplier are 0.1% - 0.25% of the wax quantity. 0.1% will give a light shade, 0.25% will give the darkest shade achievable with this product. Since I want a dark shaded candle, I will use 0.25%:

80oz x 0.25% = 0.2oz Blue candle dye

What's next?

Before we start merrily mixing everything together, it must be noted that if you want to create 10 x 8oz candles, you won't need 5lb of wax anymore as your fragrance oil is now going to make up some of the weight. This is important for making large batches as you don't want to have too much wax left over after your pour. So, subtract the weight of the fragrance from the total wax weight:

80 oz wax - 8 oz fragrance oil = 72 oz wax.

What about the rest of the components?

Well, it's pretty easy since everything else is measured by numbers and by that I mean:

Wicks: 1 per candle x 10 candles = 10 wicks.
8oz containers x 10 candles = 10 x 8oz containers and so on...

Now you want to put it all together, include some labour, include some insurance, packaging, courier fees and all the other bits and pieces and you should then have the cost of the batch. You need to decide on how much to sell it all for and realize your potential profit and you got to do all of this before you even melt the wax!!

WOW.. Seems complicated right? Imagine trying to do all this but instead of a simple candle, you are now trying to cost out a batch of 3 layered candles and each layer has a different fragrance!!!? Your brain might explode!


We've made an app that makes this all possible with just a little bit of setup, you can cost out any number of batches, save them for reference later and at the end of it all, the app will suggest a wholesale and retail price for you! Wanna check it out?

Loadscience candle making app


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